Italy – A new discovery has shed a “new light” on one of Western art’s most influential painters!
The paintings of Giotto di Bondone in the Peruzzi Chapel in Florence’s Santa Croce church are considered by many as the most important by the medieval artist. If you study the painter, you’ll learn that he introduced a revolutionary emotional depth and degree of perspective in his painting.
The Peruzzi Chapel houses murals honouring John the Evangelist and John the Baptist. The chapel is thought to have inspired great painters in the Renaissance, a century after Giotto’s death in 1337. It has been neglected for hundreds of years and has been encrusted with dust and grime and recent restorative work has revealed some of his paintings’ finest details.
Restorers using ultra-violet rays rediscovered rich original details in Giotto’s paintings. “We have uncovered a secret Giotto,” said Isabella Lapi Ballerini, head of Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure.
The discovery was the result of an ambitious project of “non-invasive diagnostics” to evaluate the condition of the chapel, which Giotto painted around 1320. The aim of the study was to gather information on the chapel to use as a road map and “hospital chart” for a future restoration.
The discovery happened by chance and restorers working on the three-story steel scaffolding noted that when ultra-violet light was directed on the frescoes a remarkable degree of extra detail became visible.
“It was something really astonishing,” said Cecilia Frosinini, co-coordinator of the project. “We knew we could get some very interesting results from our scientific diagnostics but when we looked under ultra-violet light, all of a sudden all these very faint paintings that were ruined by old restorations took on a new life,” she said.
Giotto di Bondone is believed to have been a major influence on Michelangelo and his works. After studying these new found revelations, researchers and restorers see noticeable similarities between Giotto’s works and those of Michelangelo.

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